Wednesday, September 23, 2009

our "posture"

From chapter 1, "Joining Mary at the Feet of Jesus," in Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewishness of Jesus Can Transform Your Faith, by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg.

What kind of posture do we have in life? In other words what do we think about and what occupies our time in what we do? It could be any number of things. For Mary it was about "drinking in" the words of the Rabbi Jesus, as she sat at his feet. And as we learn in this book, it is listening together, as much as listening to Jesus in our own private times.

The authors begin to take us back into the first century world of Jesus. Much has opened up in the past century, and even recent decades about the setting in which Jesus lived. And for all the turmoil of that time including the Roman occupation, he lived in a devoutly Jewish setting. This can be helpful for us to better understand the gospels, and indeed with them the rest of the New Testament.

We don't help ourselves or our faith if we simply think the Old Testament is there with some good moral lessons for us, and to get us ready for the New Testament and new covenant. The new covenant in Jesus is indeed a fulfillment of the old covenant, and that fulfillment is essentially Jewish in nature. So that there is much in the old covenant that speaks to us as God's covenant people today. And we can learn from what the Jews learned over the centuries, since God gave to them his special revelation that they might bless all nations.

For me this book has been illuminating and helpful for my walk in Jesus. I can learn and benefit in a kind of direct way from what I read from the Hebrew Bible (i.e., the Old Testament), and as a Christian, I see its meaning or goal realized in Jesus, as I read the gospels. And for me this means I need to adopt the posture of sitting at Jesus' feet, drinking in his words, and learning- so as to better follow him.

Here is a helpful study guide for the book written by Elisa Stanford. From it I take one question based on this chapter: If you were literally sitting at Jesus’ feet with Mary, what is the first thing you would ask him?

What would you like to share with us on this, or any thoughts?

Next week we finish this chapter with another reflection from it on the anointing of the Messiah, the Christ, and we who are in Christ.

(Note that observations I make here are my own interaction from this book. Some of the thoughts are from the authors and some are my own.)


Diane said...

I would ask him, knowing I probably wouldn't get a straight answer--may we ordain gays? May gays marry? Is abortion every acceptable? Is there such a thing as a just war?

L.L. Barkat said...

I agree we can learn so much from the Hebrew bible. I wish I could read it in the original language. Maybe someday (I'm learning, tiny bit, by tiny bit).

Ted M. Gossard said...

Yes. Hot button questions for today, and there are certainly true Christians who are divided over, or disagree on the answers.

I do empathize with what you say in regard to what Jesus' response would be. And I do think churches that are more traditional in regard to such things could learn much from how Jesus goes about it. Because for him the kingdom of God and gathering all in, in a sense trumped all. And therefore should be our same belief and practice today, I think.


Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks. You could learn it much faster from Lois Tverberg, as from what I understood from her there is a way of learning it which at least helps one retain it well, and I think faster.

Yes, I'd like to know both the Greek and Hebrew from Scripture, as well as the Aramaic.